Urban Rooftop Uses: Competition and Potentials from the Perspective of Farming and Aquaponics – a Berlin Case Study

Baganz, Gösta and Baganz, Elias and Baganz, Daniela and Kloas, Werner and Lohrberg, Frank (2021) Urban Rooftop Uses: Competition and Potentials from the Perspective of Farming and Aquaponics – a Berlin Case Study. CITIES 20.50 – Creating Habitats for the 3rd Millennium: Smart – Sustainable – Climate Neutral. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2021, 26th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 1015-1028. ISSN 2521-3938

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Accelerating urbanisation is profoundly changing our world, making it necessary to rethink - inter alia - the way cities distribute and provide food. Agriculture is an emerging urban use that can play an important role in these processes, supporting circular economy and resilience, but competes with other uses for limited space. One option to address this spatial problem in relation to urban food production is to exploit rooftops. For evaluation, we investigated the use, competition and potential of urban roofscapes, using the city of Berlin as an example. An overview of current roofscape uses in Berlin is given, plans and initiatives for further expansion are presented, rooftop potential studies are compared, and important boundary conditions of rooftop uses are discussed. Berlin’s roofscape of 97.3 km² (excluding 4.5 km² underground garages) already has a wide range of roof uses, with green roofs (11.8 km²) and solar roofs (0.7 km²) being the most common ones. As on the ground, commercial urban farming competes for space in the roofscape. We highlight rooftop aquaponics as a possibility to save resources by coupling fish and crop production and producing animal protein with a low environmental footprint compared to other animal farming systems. Freestanding single-storey aquaponic systems in inner cities should be avoided and in Berlin, approximately 800 buildings of appropriate using type exist with more than 2000 m² roof area as a precondition to host commercial rooftop aquaponics. The selection of specific sites should consider the availability of urban resources and requirements of an urban situation for the roofscape under existing as well as future competitive conditions. Further research efforts are required to adapt building regulations and planning laws, determine circular city locations for rooftop aquaponics, and evaluate the potential of peri-urban versus urban rooftop food production.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: We gratefully acknowledge funding support from the Belmont Forum and the European Commission via the CITYFOOD project (grant agreement No 726744).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban Roofscape, Cityscape, Competition, Urban Agriculture, Aquaponic Farming, Aquaponics
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2021 21:04
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2021 09:29
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/828

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